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Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town – Chuan Guo Xiang

by S. H.
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Proper Sichuan flavour in China Town Manchester!

This restaurant was recommended to S by her Chinese friend when she really wanted some spicy Sichuan food. S had walked past this place several times, and finally got a chance to try it out. The restaurant is between Mei Dim where you can get some decent dim sum and Yuzu. There’s no English sign for the entrance, and the name of this place is even wrong on Google maps. Therefore, it might be a bit tricky for people who can’t read Chinese to find.

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town - Chuan Guo Xiang

S thought the interior would be old and dim, but on the contrary, it was quite bright and new. The staff and the service were very “Chinese”, but as it might be considered a bit rude compared to western standards. However, the food here definitely makes up for the service quality.

You can choose hot pot and BBQ all you can eat (£19.5 per person) or order separate dishes from the menu below. Remember to ask for the Chinese menu(blue cover) since there are 2 versions of the menu! S has tried lots of different dishes from this place, and the ones she would recommend the most are Kung pao chicken with crispy pepper (£7.8), Hot & numbing braised pork slices (£7.8) and Handmade noodles with mixed ox & hot spicy soup (£7.8).

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town - Chuan Guo Xiang
All you can eat hot pot & BBQ menu

First is the special deep fried chicken with dry chilli – don’t be scared of the red chilli on top, it was not spicy as you might think. The chicken was deep fried and it was crunchy, but be careful that as there may be tiny bones in the chicken which makes it bit difficult to eat. Overall the taste was delicious and the portion size was quite big as well. If you want some chicken without bones, then the Kung pao chicken with crispy pepper is the one you should order. S loves this dish since the flavour is spot on and very easy to eat!

S loves good hot & numbing braised pork slices when she goes to any Sichuan cuisine restaurant. The numb feeling comes from the Sichuan peppers which is the main reason why S likes it so much. There were some beansprouts under the beef, so the portion was bigger than it seemed. The taste was spot on and S really enjoyed this dish.

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town - Chuan Guo Xiang
Hot & numbing braised pork slices (£7.8)

This dish was an interesting one, because it says “dry pot” on the menu in Chinese. However, when S asked the staff, it was actually not dry at all. There were lotus and lots of veg in this dish beside the lamb spine as you can see in the below photo.

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town - Chuan Guo Xiang
Griddle cooked lamb spine

The Chef’s special roasted fish was recommended by the staff that day, therefore, S decided to give it a try. There are different flavours you can choose from, such as spicy, pickled peppers, wild peppers, sour pickled vegetable or tofu pudding. The one S chose was the spicy one of course. The dish didn’t disappoint S, as the fish was perfectly soaked in the spice sauce and it gave the fish a rich flavour with the vegetables on top.

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town - Chuan Guo Xiang
Chef’s special roasted fish (£17.8)

S had never tried Szechuan twice-cooked pork before, so she didn’t know what to expect. Szechuan twice-cooked pork is one of the most iconic dishes in Sichuan cuisine, and surprisingly it’s a non-spicy dish considering Sichuan dishes are known for their spiciness. When you eat this dish, you should definitely eat the pork with some garlic sprouts, as they give this dish another level of flavour!

If you want to have some greens on the table, S would recommend the dry fried green bean with minced pork! It’s a common dish in Taiwan too which goes very well with rice and some beer. Even though you can see a little of chilli in the picture, this dish is not spicy at all.

S ordered the Chanchan fish out of curiosity since it’s actually served using a mini shovel as the plate. The fish was deep fried but it wasn’t greasy, and the fish was very tender inside. Moreover, the portion size of this dish is also huge too!

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town - Chuan Guo Xiang
Chanchan fish

S has never tried this kind of BBQ skewer before, apparently it’s a very Chinese way to have skewers like this. The meat was perfectly marinated and the flavour was awesome. If you really like it, S would recommend you to go with the all you can eat option which you can eat as many as you want!

Authentic Sichuan Cuisine in China Town - Chuan Guo Xiang
BBQ skewer (£1.5/skewer)

S sometimes visits here at lunch time and tries their noodles dishes. Even though S usually tries to order some of the smaller noodle dishes, the portion sizes are still quite big. Hong Kee noodles with braised beef flank is not spicy but most of the ones S had were spicy. Among all the noodles S has tried here, the Handmade noodles with mixed ox & hot spicy soup is S’s favourite. The flavour is numb and spicy, and is the perfect dish on a cold winter’s day.

In conclusion, it’s truly a good restaurant and S would definitely visit again to try more other dishes – especially for the BBQ. If you want something spicy, why not try this place in China Town, you won’t be disappointed!

Restaurant info:
Address: 45-47 Faulkner Street (upper ground floor), Manchester M1 4EE
Phone: 0161 637 8290
Opening hours: Mon.-Sun. 12-10pm

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